King of the Cave: New centipede on top of the food chain in the sulphurous-soaked Movile

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  • December 16, 2020
  • A new species of endemic, troglobiont centipede was discovered by an international team of scientists in the Romanian cave Movile: a unique underground ecosystem, isolated several millions years ago during the Neogene, whose animal life only exists because of the chemosynthetic bacteria. As the largest Movile’s inhabitant, the new species can easily be crowned as the ‘king’ of this ‘hellish’ ecosystem. Aptly named Cryptops speleorex, the cave-dweller is described in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys.

    Tiny cave snail with muffin-top waistline rolls out of the dark in Laos

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  • November 16, 2020
  • A new species of tiny cave snail that glistens in the light and has a muffin-top-like bulge, was discovered by Marina Ferrand of the French Club Etude et Exploration des Gouffres et Carrières (EEGC), during the Phouhin Namno caving expedition in Tham Houey Yè cave in Laos in March 2019. The new species, named Laoennea renouardi was described in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Subterranean Biology.

    Death from below: the first video of a parasitic wasp attacking caterpillar underwater

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  • November 4, 2020
  • Named after fictional monster Godzilla, a parasitic wasp becomes the first observed and filmed to dive underwater for several seconds, in order to attack and pull out caterpillar hosts, so that it can lay its eggs inside them before releasing them back in the water.

    Over a century later, the mystery of the Alfred Wallace’s butterfly is solved

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  • September 10, 2020
  • A living individual (Famegana nisa) in its natural habitat. Credit: Dr Yu-Feng Hsu License: CC-BY 4.0

    An over a century-long mystery has been surrounding the Taiwanese butterfly fauna ever since the “father of zoogeography” Alfred Russel Wallace described a new species of butterfly: Lycaena nisa, whose identity was only re-examined in a recent project looking into the butterflies of Taiwan. Based on the original specimens, in addition to newly collected ones, Dr Yu-Feng Hsu of the National Taiwan Normal University resurrected the species name and added two new synonyms to it.

    Guest Blog Post: Researchers split the birdcatcher trees (genus Pisonia) into three

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  • July 7, 2020
  • Guest blog post by Marcos Caraballo The birdcatcher trees – genus Pisonia – are infamous for trapping birds with their super-sticky seed pods that would frequently entangle the body of the ‘victim’. Left flightless, the poor feathered creatures eventually die either from starvation or fatigue, or predators. Similarly notorious are the birdcatcher trees for botanists, […]

    Shining like a diamond: a new species of diamond frog from northern Madagascar

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  • June 16, 2020
  • Despite the active ongoing taxonomic progress on the Madagascar frogs, the amphibian inventory of this hyper-diverse island is still very far from being complete. More new species are constantly being discovered, often within already well-studied areas. So, in one of the relatively well-studied parks in northern Madagascar, a new species of diamond frog, Rhombophryne ellae, was found in 2017. Now, the discovery is published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

    A new character for Pokémon? Novel endemic dogfish shark species discovered from Japan

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  • June 11, 2020
  • A new endemic deep-water dogfish shark: Squalus shiraii, was discovered in the tropical waters of Southern Japan by an international team of scientists led by Dr. Sarah Viana from South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity. The finding brings the amount of spurdogs shark species inhabiting Japanese waters to six. The discovery is published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

    The Commission on Zoological Nomenclature proposes amendments to its Constitution

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  • April 30, 2020
  • The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) proposes amendments to its Constitution – the legal basis determining how the Commission is to be governed – to solicit feedback from the zoological community, who will have one year, starting 30 April 2020, to submit constructive comments before the Commissioners cast their votes. To prompt useful debate […]

    Latest results of myriapod research from the 18th International Congress of Myriapodology

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  • April 29, 2020
  • Last year, the 18th International Congress of Myriapodology brought together 92 of the world’s top experts on the curious, yet still largely unknown multi-legged centipedes, millipedes, pauropods, symphylans (collectively referred to as myriapods) and velvet worms (onychophorans). Held between 25th and 31st August 2019 at the Hungarian Natural History Museum in Budapest and co-organised by the Hungarian Biological Society, […]